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misery of their condition, gave them water whenever they asked for it, and left them their commodities to traffick with, when they should be again reduced to the same distress, without finding the same generosity to relieve them.
Here having discharged some Spanish ships which they had taken, they set sail towards the isles of Cape Verd, and on January 28 came to anchor before Mayo, hoping to furnish themselves with fresh water ; but having landed, they found the town by the water's side entirely deserted, and, marching farther up the country, saw the valleys extremely fruitful, and abounding with ripe figs, cocoas, and plantains, but could by no means prevail upon the inhabitants to converse or traffick with them: however, they were suffered by them to range the country without molestation, but found no water, except at such a distance from the sea that the labour of conveying it to the ships was greater than it was at that time necessary for them to undergo. Salt, had they wanted it, might have been obtained with less trouble, being left by the sea upon the sand, and hardened by the sun during the ebb, in such quantities, that the chief traffick of their island is carried on with it.
January 31, they passed by St. Jago, an island at that time divided between the natives and the Portuguese, who, first entering these islands under the show of traffick, by degrees established them. selves, claimed a superiority over the original inhabitants, and harassed them with such cruelty, that they obliged them either to fly to the woods and mountains, and perish with hunger, or to take arms against their oppressors, and, under the insuperable disadvantages with which they con
tended, to die almost without a battle in defence of their natural rights, and ancient possessions.
Such treatment had the natives of St. Jago received, which had driven them into the rocky parts of the island, from whence they made incursions into the plantations of the Portuguese, sometimes with loss, but generally with that success which desperation naturally procures; so that the Portuguese were in continual alarms, and lived with the natural consequences of guilt, terror, and anxiety. They were wealthy, but not happy, and possessed the island, but not enjoyed it.
They then sailed on within sight of Fogo, an island so called from a mountain, about the middle of it, continually burning, and, like the rest, inhabited by the Portuguese, two leagues to the south of which lies Brava, which has received its name from its fertility, abounding, though uninhabited, with all kinds of fruits, and watered with great numbers of springs and brooks, which would easily invite the possessors of the adjacent islands to settle in it, but that it affords neither harbour nor anchorage. Drake, after having sent out his boats with plummets, was not able to find any ground about it; and it is reported, that many experiments have been made with the same suca cess; however, he took in water sufficient, and on the 2d of February set sail for the Straits of Magellan.
On February 17, they passed the equator, and continued their voyage, with sometimes calms, and sometimes contrary winds, but without any memorable accident, to March 28, when one of their vessels, with twenty-eight men, and the greatest part of their fresh water on board, was,
to their great discouragement, separated from them; but their perplexity lasted not long, for on the next day they discovered and rejoined their associates.
In their long course, which gave them opportunities of observing several animals, both in the air and water, at that time very little known, nothing entertained or surprised them more than the Flying Fish, which is near of the same size with a herring, and has fins of the length of his whole body, by the help of which, when he is pursued by the bonito, or great mackarel, as soon as he finds himself upon the point of being taken, he springs up into the air, and flies forward as long as his wings continue wet, moisture being, as it seems, necessary to make them pliant and moveable; and when they become dry and stiff, , he falls down into the water, unless some bark or ship intercept him, and dips them again for a second flight. This unhappy animal is not only pursued by fishes in his natural element, but at. tacked in the air, where he hopes for security, by the don, or sparkite, a great bird that preys upon fish; and their species must surely be destroyed, were not their increase so great, that the young fry, in one part of the year, covers the sea.
There is another fish, named the cuttil, of which whole shoals will sometimes rise at once out of the water, and of which a great multitude fell into their ship:
At length, having sailed without sight of land for sixty-three days, they arrived, April 5, at the coast of Brasil, where, on the 7th, the Christopher was separated again from them by a storm; after which they sailed near the land to the southward, and on the 14th anchored under a cape, which they afterwards called Cape Joy, because in two days the vessel which they had lost returned to them.
Having spent a fortnight in the river of Plata, to refresh his men, after their long voyage, and then standing out to sea, he was again surprised by a sudden storm, in which they lost sight of the Swan. This accident determined Drake to contract the number of his fleet, that he might not only avoid the inconvenience of such frequent separations, but ease the labour of his men, by having more hands in each vessel.
For this purpose he sailed along the coast in quest of a commodious harbour, and, on May 13, discovered a bay, which seemed not improper for their purpose, but which they durst not enter till it was examined ; an employment in which Drake never trusted any, whatever might be his confidence in his followers on other occasions. He well knew how fatal one moment's inattention might be, and how easily almost every man suffers himself to be surprised by indolence and security. He knew the same credulity, that might prevail upon him to trust another, might induce another to commit the same office to a third ; and it must be, at length, that some of them would be deceived. He therefore, as at other times, ordered the boat to be hoisted out, and, taking the line into his hand, went on sounding the passage till he was three leagues from his ship; when, on a sudden, the weather changed, the skies blackened, the winds whistled, and all the usual forerunners of a storm began to threaten them; nothing was
now desired but to return to the ship, but the
In this perplexity, which Drake was not more
Here going on shore they met with no inhabitants, though there were several houses or huts standing, in which they found a good quantity of dried fowls, and among them a great number of ostriches, of which the thighs were as large as those of a sheep. These birds are too heavy and unwieldy to rise from the ground, but with the